Fusilli vs Rotini

By | February 26, 2018

Fusilli and rotini is the two most commonly mistaken to each other type of pasta. It is not weird since both of them have similar shape which is corkscrew shaped. However fusilli and rotini is two different type of pasta. If looked carefully you can distinguish them from one another pretty easily. What makes it confusing might be the term fusilli and rotini is somehow used interchangeably even though the real thing is different. In this article we will try to explain fusilli and rotini also how are they actually differ from each other.

Fusilli is one type of pasta that have a corkscrew or helical shape. The word fusilli itself said to comes from fuso which means spindle, because traditionally the pasta is spun by pressing and rolling small rod over a thin strips of pasta to shape them into a corkscrew shape. Aside from traditional wheat and water used in making pasta, fusilli can be made into different colors by adding beetroot, tomato spinach and cuttlefish ink to naturally flavored and colored them. In the United States fusilli is often mistaken with rotini. Fusilli is commonly served with butters sauce, cream or cheese sauce, salad, pesto sauce, and tomato sauce. Fusilli also can be served baked.

Here is a simple and delicious recipe to cook spinach pesto fusilli. First prepare all the required ingredients such as, 1 pound of fusilli pasta, 8 ounces baby spinach, ¾ cups pine spinach, ¾ cup toasted pine nuts, 2 peeled and smashed medium garlic cloves, ½ cup finely grated parmesan cheese (and more for serving), zest of 1 medium lemon, 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, kosher salt, ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, and ½ cup extra virgin olive oil. After all the required ingredient is presents it is time to cook the pasta. In a large pot, bring water to a boil and add some salt, then put fusilli and cook until al dente. While the fusilli is cooking, make the pesto sauce. Put the spinach, pine nuts and garlic in a food processor and turn it on. Scrape down the sides of the bowl until coarsely chopped. Add the remaining spinach and pulse until coarsely chopped. Then add the parmesan, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper and continue combining for about 30 seconds. While the motor running slowly pour the oil and continue processing until it becomes a smooth paste for about 30 seconds. After the fusilli is cooked, drain it from water and keep about half cup of its water. In a pan pour ¼ cup pasta water add the pesto sauce and the fusilli. Continue to cook until the fusilli is well coated, add the water little by little until it reached your desired consistency. Serve in a serving plate and top with parmesan.

Rotini is a one type of pasta, shaped in a helix or corkscrew form. The rotini name itself came from 17th century Italian word means “small wheels”. Rotini is very similar to fusilli but it has a tighter helix than fusilli. Rotini is originated from Southern Italy, the tight shape of rotini can allow the pasta to retain many variety of sauce better. Rotini is often served in salads with pesto and carbonara or tomato-based sauces. Rotini just like many type of pasta is commonly made from wheat and water. However there is also rotini made from whole wheat flour, brown rice, or other type of grains.

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Here is delicious recipe to make rotini with carbonara sauce. First prepare all the required ingredients such as, 1 tablespoon butter, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 6-8 chopped bacon, ½ finely minced onion, ½ cup white wine, 3.4 cup frozen peas, 12 ounces rotini pasta, 2 eggs, ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese, ¼ teaspoon white pepper, 3 tablespoon chopped parsley, kosher salt to taste, and additional shredded parmesan cheese to serve. After all the ingredients is present now it is time to cook the pasta. In a large pot bring water to a boil and add some salt if you like. While the pasta is cooking, in a deep skillet with a medium heat, cook bacon with butter until it becomes crispy for about 5-8 minutes. After that add the onion and cook until the onion becomes translucent for about 3 to 5 minutes. Add white wine and continue stir and cook until the liquid is reduced, then remove it from heat and set aside. Use the boiling water from pasta to defrost the peas in a different bowl. Use a large bowl and whisk egg together with cheese, white pepper and half of parsley and set aside. After the pasta is cooked, drain it and immediately and add to the skillet with the egg mixture and defrosted peas. Keep stirring until the sauce is thickened and cover rotini well. Serve immediately and top with shredded parmesan.

- Have longer shape- Have shorter shape
- The gap between the fold is wider- The gap between the fold is tighter
- The ability to retain pasta sauces is less compared to rotini- It can retain pasta sauces better
- Some of fusilli is naturally flavored using natural flavoring and coloring- It Is not commonly flavored or colored but have the whole wheat variant

Like it has been said above the main difference between fusilli and rotini is the gap of their helix shape. Rotini have tighter gap and said to be able to retain many kind of sauces better than fusilli which have a wider gap between its fold. When eat without sauce both of them taste exactly the same if made from the same ingredients. However some type of fusilli is known to naturally flavored with different kind of natural flavoring while it is not very common in rotini. Since they are not particularly different or such, the usage is pretty much interchangeable, the key reasoning is only your own preference.

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